Adult Education Innovations
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
College Field Trips Inspire Adult Learners to Chart Their Educational Paths
Adult education students at Grossmont Adult Education (GAE)/Grossmont Union High School District and at the Mountain Empire Unified School District, both in the East Region Adult Education consortium (San Diego), felt they needed more information about career opportunities, matriculation, and support services. The students, quite literally, couldn’t see college in their future.
To address the challenge, consortium members teamed together to launch monthly field trips to a college campus, with the trips being open to all adult education students. Outreach teams at two colleges and the transition team at GAE worked together to make this possible. During the bus ride to campus, a college ambassador and the transition team introduce students to campus life. Students are met by an admissions counselor who specializes in older/re-entry adult learners when they arrive on campus, and they are given a campus tour to learn about career technical education (CTE) programs through hands-on mini-presentations facilitated by faculty and former GAE students. Each field trip also offers opportunities to make a one-on-one appointment with a career counselor right away (avoiding waiting lists). Based on the student demographics, Spanish and Arabic language interpreters are included in all trips.
Field trips and exploring careers and examples of multiple career pathways have led to students becoming more actively engaged in the design and re-design of their educational paths. Faculty at the colleges express that they have a much better understanding of how they can help adult learners. The transition team has been able to facilitate smoother transitions for students who have met the admissions counselor during a field trip.